Savestate is a Furry Comic by Tim Weeks, started on February 5, 2014, with updates every Wednesday. It follows the adventures of twin anthropomorphic Australian Shepherds named Kade (male, blue merle) and Nicole (female, red merle).
Something the two have in common is a passionate love for video games. A lifelong passion, as they show their skill in everything from the original NES and Game Boy, to the Xbox One and PS4, and even the Virtual Boy.
As stated at the top, the comic takes some cues from previous webcomics. The main characters are fully anthro, though unlike Housepets!, it's apparently set in a World of Funny Animals. They are also fully grown-up; Kade, at least, is seen to have a job, and Nicole drives a car.note It also is heavily themed in video gaming, though it's not quite as snarky as VG Cats.
Much of the content is Slice of Life, though Tim launched the comic's first storyline when the twins inherited a mansion. An apparently haunted one at that.
This webcomic provides examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Claws : Harvey has these here.
- Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Kade and Nicole only wear collars. (Nicole also has glasses.)
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Kade's ROB robot apparently went rogue. It turned out to be possessed.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: This page demonstrates the trope quite well.
- Ambiguous Gender: Downplayed. The genders of the souls that occupy Harvey and Ness are unknown. Ness is referred to as a "she" since that's how Nicole referred to her before she was possessed. She never resisted that reference once possessed.
- Art Shift:
- A panel in this comic became an animated Pokemon-style game screen.
- The last panel in this strip is a SNES-style shout-out to Super Mario World.
- For the last panel of his 10th anniversary comic, Tim drew it in a style like his original style as Kade and Nicole revisited Sonic Boom on the Wii U.Nicole: I don't remember Sonic Boom looking this bad.
Kade: It was released 10 years ago. Cut it some slack.
- Beat Panel:
- When Rick shows Kade and Nicole his Halloween costume, the twins briefly look to each other with genuine concern.Kade: Who are you supposed to be?
Rick: I'm Rick.
Rick: From the Rick and Morty cartoon.
Nicole: Oh, okay. I thought we might have to drop you off at the psychiatric ward.
- Another happens when Harvey admits he dropped Kade's Switch. It's followed by Kade clamping his hand around Harvey's neck and pulling him in close.
- When Rick shows Kade and Nicole his Halloween costume, the twins briefly look to each other with genuine concern.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Nicole repeatedly laments through the years in "Ready Player Six" how various Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games inexplicably didn't allow enough players for their liking. In the present—where the latest game, Shredder's Revenge, permits up to six players, allowing Kade, Nicole, Rick, Riley, Harvey, and Ness to all play together—having so many different characters even with an HDTV makes playing impossible because no one can tell where their character is.
- Beyond the Impossible: When Harvey breaks Kade's Nintendo Switch, Kade legit grabs the ghost by the throat. His ectoplasmic neck. Bare-handed. Blindfolded. Beware the Nice Ones indeed!
- Butt-Monkey: Kade is shaping up to have a bit of this.
- Call-Back: Harvey notes it's neutralized by light weapons like the NES Zapper. The possessed ROB zaps one of its arms.
- Comically Missing the Point: Nicole reminds Kade that it's Valentine's Day. Kade calls Riley and asks her to watch his back while waiting in line.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Kade makes Nicole play Superman 64 in Hard Mode as punishment for posting an embarrassing video of him on YouTube.
- Crossover Cameo: A special guest and his buddy make an appearance at the Nintendo World Championships.
- Cuteness Proximity: Mom around Ness.
- Deadpan Snarker: Nicole.
- Death Glare: Don't break Kade's Switch.
- Deep-Immersion Gaming: In most games they play the main characters' appear as themselves dressed as video game characters.
- Demonic Possession: After its resurrection, the spirit previously inhabiting ROB briefly possesses Nicole.
- Didn't Think This Through: Kade is susceptible to this. Like the time he bought a Playstation VR 2 despite not having the requisite Playstation 5, and also didn't get any games for it. Nicole invokes times Kade was too slow to buy into Ouya and Google Stadia, and both had been shut down, rendering him unable to buy games for them.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Nicole ended up doing this while Kade was making a snow replica of the small-scale arcade machines that were starting to be made for home use.
- Expressive Ears: A carton of four-year-old orange juice causes Kade's ears to unflop.
- Facehugger: Rick is subjected to this by Ness, much to his irritation and, apparently, Nicole's amusement.
- Foreshadowing: While everyone's hiding from ROB in Nicole's bedroom, Kade ironically wonders aloud "Are we hiding from ROB or Nicole?". A few strips later, Kade and Rick are running for their lives trying to escape a possessed Nicole.
- Flipping the Table: During their Thanksgiving Episode, Kade wants Nicole to help him do this. Nicole wants to wait until their Amazingly Embarrassing Parents focus on her and her squeaky toy Noodle Incident.
- Foreign Curse Word: If you consider binary code foreign, this is what Ness's spirit, possessing the R.O.B. robot, says after tumbling down the mansion's stairs to the basement while trying to grab Kade's Zapper light gun [[in the Volume 1 bonus comic]] Flashback set in the immediate aftermath of the twins inheriting said mansion from Uncle Scooby:R.O.B.!Ness: 01100011011100100110000101110000note
- Furry Confusion: Lampshaded in a strip where Zootopia comes up, where Rick wonders why there were only mammals in the movie and no reptiles or avians (which do exist in the comic's universe).
- During a strip talking about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Kade points out that the Rito in previous Zelda games looked like "creepy humans with bird beaks". All characters shown in this comic- including video game characters- have been portrayed as some form of animal, with no sign that humans exist at all.
- Furry Reminder: Nicole's winter fur keeps her warm when the car breaks down, while Rick goes into a torpor.
- Kade, Nicole and the other dogs wag their tails when they're happy.
- While Rick, being a reptile, enjoys sunning himself on a rock during summer, neither Nicole nor Kade can stand the heat because of their fur.
- Kade has a bit of a shedding problem, as Rick recalls that back in their childhood days Kade's fur ruined a copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 and they had to take the cartridge apart to remove it.
- Kade also got a bit possessive of his Nintendo Switch pre-order receipt (which he wore on his collar) to the point he growled at Nicole.Nicole: When did you get that collar charm?
(Kade growls at her)
Nicole: Don't you bare your teeth at me. I'll call Mom and let her deal with you.
Kade: Sorry. Instinctive reaction.
- In the page featuring Mega Man 11, Mega Kade likes to chew on the Bounce Ball, the weapon you get from Bounce Man. Dr. Light apparently had to remind him multiple times that it is a weapon, NOT a chew toy.
- Ghost in the Machine: ROB, until he was exorcised by Nicole's smartphone doing text-to-speech from a spells book in Uncle Scooby's library. Unfortunately, it exorcised Harvey, too.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: When Nicole plays the levels made by Kade on Super Mario Maker, that's how she vents her frustration.Nicole: Son of a biscuit.
- Gretzky Has the Ball: Neither Kade nor Nicole is that knowledgeable about sports.
- They're visibly dismayed when their neighbour Roger invited them over for "the game" only for it to turn out to be a football game.
- Even when they're playing sports-related video games like NBA Jam, they are noticeably out of their element.Nicole: So how do we play this?
Kade: You're asking me? I don't know anything about football.
Nicole (reading the game's instructions): "If you get three baskets in a row, you're on fire." But it doesn't say what a basket is, so I can't activate my elemental form!
- The Grim Reaper: A ghoul that looks like it haunts their mansion. Initially, only Nicole can see "Harvey".
- Hair Color Dissonance: Kade and his mom both have blue fur. In real life, blue merle dogs are actually gray◊.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Clothes are optional in Savestate's world: although most secondary characters wear shirts (the lawyer seemed to be fully dressed, including pants) and Kade is shown wearing a hoodie at some point, the twins usually wear only a collar. Tim explains it as Kade and Nicole acting immature, having not grown out of wearing collars yet. Though a flashback shows their beloved Uncle Scooby wore a collar into old age. So that might also have rubbed off on them.
- Rick is always fully-clothed. Tim says he has to be, especially in the winter, since he's an iguana, and therefore cold-blooded.
- Halloween Episode: Starting here and running for the next 5 strips. it's kicked off by Nicole suggesting that Harvey get a job at the local haunted house.
- Hollywood Genetics: Averted: The twins' father is a standard red Australian Shepherd. Since their mother is blue merle like Kade, if both parents were merles it could make for some weird genetic consequences.
- Humiliation Conga: When Harvey was given the idea to work at a haunted house, first he wasn't hired because he didn't have ID (because he's dead). Then when he snuck into the haunted house to scare people freelance, everyone recognized him as Harviplier.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: A non-lethal comedic example. Kade accidentally shoots himself in the nose with a Nerf gun that he strengthened the springs on.Nicole: That's kind of cool. Can I borrow it?
Kade: ALL I CAN SMELL IS BLOOD!!!
- I Want Grandkids: Mom pulls this on the kids in the Thanksgiving 2017 arc.Mom: You know, I always thought Nicole would be the first one to give me grandpuppies.
Kade: *Spit Take*
Nicole: And now it's weird. Thanks, Mom.
- Considering the bonding between Kade and Riley in the ensuing Christmas/New Year's Eve arc, this may be foreshadowing.
- As Kade and Riley's relationship has developed, Mom has been dropping hints. Prior to Christmas 2021, she gave Kade a handheld game for puppies, implying he and Riley "could find a use for it" someday. Being Kade, he modded it into a Neo Geo controller for use with fighting games. At least it impressed Riley.
- Ineffectual Death Threats: Harvey is prone to making these.Harvey: Meet Nicole, YouTubers. Don't get too attached, she's not going to survive the night.
- Innocently Insensitive: On their first foray into Fortnite, Kade dresses up like a dinosaur, and Rick is...disappointed.Rick: I'm trying to decide if this is more disturbing or offensive.
Kade: I can swap the backpack for a black bow if it'll make you feel better.
Rick: You're so far into the Uncanny Valley at this point it doesn't really matter.
- In-Series Nickname: When Harvey talks about Kade he usually calls him "the blue one".
- Just Friends: Nicole and Rick are extremely close, but in an entirely platonic way. They've even spent Valentine's Day together just playing video games. It's very similar to how Kade and Riley spend their dates, except the latter couple are a lot more romantically affectionate toward each other (hugs, paw-holding, even some kisses as time goes on).
- Konami Code: Kade draws it in dust on a table at the old mansion.
- The spell used to make ROB (and Harvey) go inert is the Konami Code written in Hylian.
- Literal-Minded: Harvey likes to play this game frequently.Riley: Ugh. Harvey, what are you doing?
Harvey: You said if I stayed in the back room I could play with the video games.
Riley: I meant play the games on the cartridges. Not arrange them into a creepy demonic spell circle.
Harvey: You need to learn to be more specific.
- Magic Eye: Subverted, Kade's right eye is tan and he wears a blue contact lens to make it match the other, and removing the lens allows him to see Harvey, but everyone else could see him already.
- Turns out ROB was jinxing his contacts to do that.
- Meaningful Name: Following the video game theme, "Kade" sounds similar to "arcade".
- Meet the In-Laws: Well, not maritally (yet), but Riley ended up accidentally meeting Kade's mother one Christmas.
- My Instincts Are Showing: Kade is very protective of his Nintendo Switch pre-order receipt.
- Nintendo Hard: The levels Kade made for Nicole on Super Mario Maker, judging from her pure enjoyment.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Females do have breasts, though Nicole's are usually de-emphasized since she doesn't wear clothes.
- Noodle Implement: A squeaky toy.
- Noodle Incident: Nicole hints that there's an embarrassing story about her and Kade when they were puppies involving a squeaky toy.
- Not-So-Fake Prop Weapon: When Riley takes the group to a summer festival, Kade is dressed as Doggie Kruger, complete with sword. When he tries to demonstrate that it's fake, he accidentally cuts his arm.Nicole: Did you just cut yourself?
Kade: (holding his arm where he cut himself, blood dripping between his fingers) No.
Nicole: Are you going to leave the sword in the car?
Nicole: Do you need a bandage for your arm?
- Once Done, Never Forgotten: Nicole once tried to get the Golden Ending on Tunic without Kade's help, and took so long solving the final puzzle that her controller ran out of battery power.Nicole: You're never going to let me live this one down, are you?
Kade: I already ordered you a collar charm with a low battery icon. What do you think?
- One-Neighbor Neighborhood: This appears to be the case between Kade and Nicole's house, and Amber, a reindeer who lives across the street with her husband and two kids. (Kade and Nicole are the odd ones in this case.)
- One-Word Title: Also a Portmantitle.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Color-coded by fur, in this case. Inverted with their parents.
- Puppy Love: Kade's interactions with Riley veer into this category. Though it might have something to do with the fact that she works at a video game store.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Real life events have featured in multiple storylines.
- The mansion storyline kicked off as an obvious salute to Casey Kasem, as they found out their "Uncle Scooby" died.note
- Kade manages to compete in the 2015 Nintendo World Championships but loses in Mario Kart 8, so the competition is won, just like in real life, by John Numbers.note
- The recent release of the Nintendo Classic Edition and the Nintendo Switch have both been featured in recent strips.
- Real-Person Cameo: This strip features Shigeru Miyamoto, as a tanuki!
- Relative Error: An unseen couple mistakes Kade and Nicole for a couple on an airplane ride when leaving their daughter to sit by them.
- Riley makes the same mistake, but is quickly corrected.
- Running Gag: Battletoads and its notoriously Nintendo Hard nature seems to be coming up frequently lately.Comic description for 9/9/2015: Playing the right video games with kids can be a great bonding experience… Battletoads is not one of those games.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After Harvey is resurrected, he bails on Kade, Nicole and Rick when it seems they resurrected the spirit that possessed ROB, too.Nicole: You're bailing on us!?
Harvey: I've already been dead once today. You guys can take a turn. Bye!
- Sealed Evil in a Teddy Bear: While Harvey isn't exactly the traditional "teddy bear" type of cute, he possesses a certain kind of creepy cuteness. Kade initially thinks he's adorable, and even though he is some sort of Elder God, he is easily held at bay and rendered harmless by Rick's tail.
- Sensory Abuse: Kade did this to himself with a Virtual Boy during a long car ride. He ended up with red eyes and blurry vision.
- Shopping Montage: That one time at the mall. Even the girly places.Kade: If you had a boyfriend you wouldn't have to drag me into places like this.
- Ship Sinking: Tim pre-emptively nuked the idea of shipping Nicole and Rick by having Nicole put Rick in the friend zone in a Tumblr AMA response. He has said Kade and Nicole will get significant others eventually, with Kade being paired off with Riley not long after.
- Shout-Out: Being about video games at its core, Savestate has these in spades:
- The Savestate logo (pictured above) is an obvious homage to the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 logo.
- The font used for the Savestate logo is an intentional nod to that of Solatorobo: Red the Hunter, a game featuring anthro dogs.
- The first couple of strips are about Pokémon, and invoke the Missingno glitch.
- Uncle Scooby's probate attorney is a bit obsessed with Ace Attorney.
- Kade also loves The Legend of Zelda.
- Kade has an interesting strategy for Watch_Dogs.
- And he gets splattered playing Titanfall due to Xbox One issues.
- Kade's emergency kit features a Dr. Mario pill and a Minecraft torch.
- The runes in the spell book might look a bit familiar...that's because they're Ancient Hylian, precisely the Skyward Sword font, with the top cut off.
- Likewise, deciphering the spell used to resurrect Harvey reveals it's, fittingly, the Sonata of Awakening.
- Here's one to Markiplier, and, more specifically, his FNAF 4 playthrough.
- Then there's this reference to the Jurassic Park series.
- While playing Jurassic World Kade and Nicole throw in a Firefly reference.
- Shy Finger-Twiddling: Nicole does this when Kade is mad at her for the aforementioned YT video.
- Snarky Inanimate Object: The modem likes to troll Kade.
- Spit Take: Kade does one when Mom suggests puppies in his and Riley's future.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial:
- Symbol Swearing: Once, near the beginning of the comic.
- Thanksgiving Episode: Kade and Nicole's parents visit their children here. Hilarity Ensues.
- Vomit Discretion Shot: When Nicole tries out the Virtual Boy...
- Unexpected Inheritance: First major arc is them inheriting a mansion from "Uncle Scooby".
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Kade and Nicole's parents aren't shocked at all when they learn that their kids live with a ghost rabbit and a demon-possessed plush toy and immediately act as if it's completely normal.
- The Unreveal: Tim "answered" an AMA about the Twins' dad by showing him off-frame trying to figure out a camera.Kade: Hey Nicole, how much you want to bet I can speed run Metroid before Dad figures out the camera?
Mom: Kade, sweetie, be quiet.
- Unwanted Assistance: Harvey and Ness decide to help Kade and Nicole clear snow from the car here.
- Waking Non Sequitur: Kade gets hit by a gigantic snowball and concussed by Harvey after Nicole hits him with a snowball, and scapegoats Kade.Nicole: Kade... are you still alive?
Kade: I failed to get the Ocarina and now the Moon has crushed us all.
Nicole: Okay... Maybe you should go warm up...
Kade: Not now! I need to find the Boss Key.
Nicole: Uh, I think I saw it inside next to the first aid kit.
Kade: To the Fairy Fountain, Epona!
- Way Past the Expiration Date: A groggy Kade mistakes the expiration date on a four year-old carton of juice for Experience Points.
- Weirdness Censor: Kade somehow utterly fails to see the spectral rabbit thing Nicole is pointing out.
- Actually, it turns out Kade couldn't see Harvey because of his blue eyes. When he took out a contact (it turns out he has heterochromia that he was teased for as a pup, and wore a tinted contact to cover his tan right eye), he could finally see Harvey.
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Harvey finally finds someone he can scare in Riley:Harvey: I snuck up on Rick and he didn't even flinch. No one's scared of me.
Kade: That's not true.
Harvey: Name someone who thinks I'm scary.
Kade: Well Riley hasn't inhaled since you laid down in her lap.
[Harvey looks up, sees Riley frozen in fear]
Harvey: (overjoyed, grabs Riley's shoulders) You really think I'm scary?
Riley: W...why did it suddenly grow arms?
- Your Soul Is Mine!:
- When Kade puts a photo of himself in front of the Kinect it says "Soul depleted, please add a new meat bag to your account." And he has to use a photo with his eyes closed because otherwise they turn black after a day.Nicole: I'm gonna go find a cross and sharpen one end.
- Harvey the rabbit-daemon-ghost-thingy threatens to do this to Kade for blocking its view of the TV. Later he steals the soul of a guy who spoiled Avengers: Endgame to eat during the movie.
- When Kade puts a photo of himself in front of the Kinect it says "Soul depleted, please add a new meat bag to your account." And he has to use a photo with his eyes closed because otherwise they turn black after a day.